CalWORKs is a critical part of the state’s safety net for families with low incomes, particularly families of color. Modest monthly CalWORKs grants are adjusted according to the number of people in the household who are eligible for cash assistance. A family member may be excluded from grant calculations if they have exceeded the time limit for assistance, have not met work requirements, or due to their immigration status.
For some CalWORKs families, state policymakers have raised grants above deep poverty (50% of the federal poverty line). Yet for the 55% of CalWORKs cases with an excluded family member, the maximum grant remains below deep poverty, leaving them out of receiving sufficient assistance for basic needs.
Increasing grants for families with an excluded family member would ensure that no family in the CalWORKs program lives in deep poverty.